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Carpenters democracy victory

Rank-and-file carpenters in central Illinois score stunning A victory for union democracy despite McCarron's 'new' Carpenters Union, writes Mike Griffin, War Zone Education Foundation.
Midwest Rank And File Carpenters Score For Democracy!!

The battle for democracy inside the United Brotherhood ofCarpenters and Joiners of America [UBC] has turned in favor of workingCarpenters in Central Illinois. Carpenters in local 44 in Champaign IL, have scored a major victory fora voice in their union. Much to the chagrin of bureaucrats in the Mid-Central Illinois Regional Council of Carpenters, local 44 members seeking a voice in their union turned out in forceAugust fourth and elected all four delegates to the state convention from pro-democracy candidates. Against allodds and powerful pressure from union bureaucrats, local members gave a suresign they have had enough of the top down dictatorship of Douglas McCarron, UBCGeneral President, and the heavy handed leadership of the regional council.

The election results marks a clear defeat for the Regional Council officials whose primary function is control over the membership for the International leadership. On August twentieth, the local 44 Business Agent [BA] resigned, stating he no longer had the support of the membership. Sources in local 44 see it differently and some suspect the BA was forced to resign for failing to control the membership vote and electing candidates more receptive to following orders. Sources say support of the membership is not even an issue.

Business Agents are appointed by the council and members have no say in who represents their local. Mysteriously, the local 44 union hall was closed for a period of four days following the resignation and some suspect that unusual event was a message from higher ups. The situation is not without the possibility of local 44 windingup in trusteeship. It was defiance of higher-ups that brought the Carpenter local in Jacksonville IL into trusteeshipless than two years ago.

It is clear the members of local want more than the traditional UBC dictatorship and they have sought out candidates who stand forchange from business as usual. Sources say there is a groundswell of pro-democracy efforts taking place in central Illinois and the state convention promises to be a lively one. There is speculation that Regional Council bureaucrats can expect resolutions from delegates seeking to give their membersa voice.

That effort is being attributed to David Johnson, a rank and file Carpenter from local 44 who himself was put on trial by the AFL-CIO last year, for the horrible crime of believing he had a right to air his personal opinion on the national elections.

Our hats are off to the members of local 44, to the delegates elected by them, and to Brother David Johnson who has shown the testicle fortitude to stand up for the real union, you and me.

Mike Griffin
WarZone Education Foundation



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